Woman horrified to discover gynaecologist helping her to conceive was really her father – JOE.co.uk

Posted By on February 24, 2022

A woman has spoken of her horror after discovering that her obstetrician-gynaecologist (OB-GYN) of almost a decade was her biological father.

The shocking story starts in 1983, when Morgan Hellquist's parents, Gary and Joe Ann Levey, turned to Dr. Morris Wortman, a well-known fertility specialist in the Rochester, New York State region to help them conceive after Gary was paralysed following a motorcycle accident.

Wortman told them that artificial insemination was the best course of action and between 1983 and 1985 he treated Jo Ann. In 1985, Morgan Hellquist was born.

When Morgan turned eight-years-old, her parents told her she had been donor-conceived and as she learned more about genetics in her teenage years at school she asked her mother to reach out to Wortman's office for more specifics about her biological father.

Jo Ann wastold the office no longer had the records from the time when Hellquist was conceived.

Morgan went on to marry and have a two children but when she started suffering from gynaecological issues that her regular OB-GYN seemed unable to resolve, she decided to turn to the man that had helped her parents so much - Wortman.

When Gary passed away in 2015, Morgan decided to pursue more information about her biological father. Meanwhile Wortman continued as her gynaecologist, performing pelvis and breast exams and transvaginal ultrasounds, as reported in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

After a genetic test, she discovered she was 50 per cent Ashkenazi Jewish. However this was concerning as her parents had asked that the donor used to conceive Morgan be a mix of ethnicities.

Through genetic tests she discovered two half-brothers who were 50 per cent Ashkenazi Jewish, just like her. She went on to discover six more half-siblings. Some of her half-brothers bore resemblances to Wortman.

All of the half-siblings were under the impression their biological father had been a medical student.

"We continued to believe this narrative of this being a medical student because we were all about the same age," Morgan said. "It seemed to be really logical."

However, by 2021 some of her half-siblings were questioning whether their parents had told them the truth about the sperm donors used to conceive them and began to wonder whether Wortman was their biological father.

However because of her unique relationship with the doctor, Morgan was hesitant about the theory.

She said: "My brothers had some questions from their own appearances, but I had this relationship. I thought, 'If I think my gynaecologist is my father, I'm a lunatic.' Who thinks those kinds of things."

Eventually, one of the half-brothers got in touch with one of Wortman's daughters from a previous marriage, who agreed to provide a genetic sample for comparison.

Before the results for this came back, Morgan visited Wortman once more but after he made some inappropriate comments, she realised the truth.

"He made some inappropriate sexual jokes and said some things that were really uncomfortable," Morgan said.

"He said, 'You're a really good kid, such a good kid'.

"I then had a moment (thinking) 'Everything you've been afraid of is real.'"

A month later, results came back comparing the DNA of Morgan's half-brother and Wortman's biological daughter. There was a 99.99 per cent chance the two were siblings.

Morgan then reached out to Wortman's daughter and got the same results after another genetic comparison.

She said: "I just sat in the backyard and screamed and cried out to the field behind [her friend's] house because I felt like it broke something inside that could never be fixed. I felt like I could never go back from that moment."

She has since launched a lawsuit against Wortman. He has denied many of the allegations of medical malpractice and that he used his own sperm during the fertility cycle in which Morgan's mother was impregnated.

Whilst New York State has no laws against so-called 'fertility fraud', Morgan and her team hope to have Wortman dismissed for the fact that he was her gynaecologist for nine years, arguing that he should have refused to treat her.

Her lawyer, Kathryn Lee Bruns, said: "A physician owes a duty to his patient. In this instance, he had a duty to not treat her. He violated his ethical obligation as a physician.

"He never should have treated Morgan.He should have taken whatever steps were necessary to refer her to a different physician out of an abundance of caution."

Morgan adds that her mother Jo Ann feels "violated" as well, and that she feels as if all the trauma Morgan has gone through is "her fault."

Now, she often finds herself torn between the memories of her father who raised her before he died and the discovery of her biological father.

"My dad was such a great man," Morgan said. "I got a lot from him.

"I wrestle with what it's like to be the genetic offspring of someone who doesn't have a conscience."

Morgan is also fighting to make fertility fraud a crime, saying it blew her mind that there was no legislation for "something that seems so blatantly abhorrent."

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